New Delhi: Senator and the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee Kamala Harris has appointed Indian-American Sabrina Singh as her press secretary. Singh is the first person of Indian origin to be appointed as press secretary to the vice-presidential nominee of a major political party.
— Sabrina Singh (@sabrinasingh24) August 16, 2020
Only 32 years old, Singh has in the past been the press secretary to two Democratic presidential hopefuls — Cory Booker and Michael Bloomberg. Singh was Booker’s press secretary from 2019 until the beginning of 2020. However, in mid-January, Booker dropped out of the presidential race due to low-digit polling and lacklustre fund-raising.
Two weeks later, Singh announced that she had joined Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign as its national spokesperson. “I have joined @MikeBloomberg @Mike2020 as national spokesperson! I’m beyond excited to work with this incredible team to defeat Donald Trump. #MikeWillGetItDone,” she tweeted.
However, less than two months after she made the announcement, Bloomberg backed out of the presidential race on 4 March extending his support to Joe Biden.
Singh is no stranger to political campaigns. In 2016, she was the regional communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. She has also served as the spokeswoman for Democratic National Committee (DNC).
From a family of immigrants
Born in 1988 in Los Angeles, California, Singh comes from a family of immigrants who like her have displayed their activism.
Her grandfather, J.J. Singh, was a freedom fighter in India who immigrated to the United States in 1946. Though Singh never met her grandfather as he died before her birth, she knows about his fight against racially discriminatory policies in the US and how he fought for Indians to obtain citizenship in the US.
She claimed in one of her tweets that it was his campaign that ultimately led to then President Harry Truman signing the Luce-Celler Act on 2 July, 1946, which gave nearly 3,000 Indians residing in the United States citizenship.
Under the organisation, India League of America, her grandfather fought for the right of Indians residing in the US to become naturalised citizens. Before the Luce-Celler Act was enacted, Indian were only allowed into the US as visitors, and tourists and were prohibited from becoming citizens.
Today is the start of #AAPIHeritageMonth and so I'd like to take this (short) thread to celebrate AAPIs in the U.S. and remember those who paved the way for opportunity and freedom.
— Sabrina Singh (@sabrinasingh24) May 1, 2019
Singh’s grandfather passed away before her father, Manjit Singh, turned 18. Though born in New York, her father moved back to India in 1961. It was almost 20 years later that Singh’s father, a former chairman and CEO of Sony India, and her mother Srila Singh decided to immigrate to the US.
A self-confessed dark chocolate lover and ‘dog mum’, Singh is married to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee deputy executive director Mike Smith, who is also the political director for Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
— Sabrina Singh (@sabrinasingh24) June 12, 2020
An alumna of the University of Southern California, Singh majored in International Relations. She started her career as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) press assistant. It was here, according to Singh, that she was first exposed to political campaigns and understood what they did and how they operated.
In an interview early this year, she said, “Following the DCCC, I became the Communications Director for Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-Ill,) for a year and then left to become the Democratic Governors Association Deputy Communications Director.”
In 2018, when she was 30, Singh was named the deputy communications director at the Democratic National Committee.
Issues close to her heart
Sabrina Singh has always been a critic of the Donald Trump administration and has in the past called out the US President’s racist remarks.
She has said previously it was Barack Obama’s election as US President that encouraged her to work towards making a difference.
As a press secretary, she said combating the “xenophobic, bigoted, racist and anti-immigrant policies” of the Trump administration, which according to her were enabled by the Republicans in Congress and in the GOP-majority state legislatures, was a top priority of the Democrats.
In March this year, Singh also took a stand in Indian politics and tweeted about the Narendra Modi government. “Modi and his party continue vilify and push, racist anti-Muslim policies which are leading to violence,” she posted, quote-tweeting another post sharing a link to an article in The New York Times about the February riots in Delhi.
This should not get lost today.
Modi and his party continue vilify and push, racist anti-Muslim policies which are leading to violence.
Take the time to read this story. https://t.co/ZVi3W2geVA
— Sabrina Singh (@sabrinasingh24) March 12, 2020
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